CLEARFIELD – A Clearfield man accused of threatening a man with a gun during a road rage incident pleaded guilty Tuesday in Clearfield County Court.
Roger Allan McKenzie III, 24, was sentenced by Judge Paul Cherry to 60 days to one year in jail and two years consecutive probation for terroristic threats and simple assault.
McKenzie was also ordered to have a mental health assessment and to complete anger management counseling. He must also pay the victim over $5,000 in restitution.
The charges stem from an incident on the Clearfield Shawville Highway between Clearfield and Curwensville on July 29, 2018 when a vehicle driven by McKenzie passed a vehicle driven by the victim and then followed it into a parking lot.
McKenzie and another man reportedly argued with the victim before McKenzie pulled a gun and waved it around. He was charged for punching the victim in the neck.
Prior to sentencing, Cherry questioned why there were no weapon charges in this case. Assistant District Attorney Jendi Schwab responded by saying this was primarily a physical assault and the firearm was not part of it.
McKenzie’s attorney, Joshua Maines, stated that McKenzie was licensed to carry the weapon and he only got it out to show the victim he had a gun.
According to the affidavit, the victim told police he was driving to Clearfield from Curwensville when a blue vehicle passed him at a high rate of speed. The driver blew the horn and the people in the car yelled at him.
When he pulled into the parking lot of the Timberland Federal Credit Union, the vehicle came back and pulled in behind him.
Two males exited the car, began yelling and asking him what his problem was. The victim yelled back at them before the driver pulled a firearm out of his vehicle and began waving it around.
Once the “gun came out,” the passenger exited the vehicle, approached him and they got into a shoving match, the victim told police. The driver then approached and threw a punch, hitting him in the neck.
The officer speaking with the victim noted in the affidavit that the victim’s neck was visibly red and was swelling. As he spoke, the victim was coughing and having trouble breathing. He decided he needed to go to the hospital.
The officer was able to track the vehicle to its owner, McKenzie, who was then questioned about the altercation.
He stated that he and his friend were in fear of the man in the other vehicle when he pulled his handgun from the vehicle. He claimed he only did this to let the man know he was armed.
In a further interview after he was taken into custody, McKenzie explained while he was driving out of Curwensville, he approached the victim’s vehicle that was traveling only 45 miles per hour.
He claimed when he attempted to pass the vehicle, it started to speed up and he had to accelerate to get around it.
He went on to claim both vehicles were traveling at a high rate of speed and said he tried breaking to “get him to back off,” but it did not work.
When he saw it pull into the bank lot, he stopped his car and reversed to get to the lot.
McKenzie saw the victim exit his car, which prompted him to remove his gun from the glove box. He said he only held the gun across his chest. He denied ever pointing the gun at the victim.
After his friend and the victim got into a pushing match, he said he went to help him because he was “not in any shape to fight.” McKenzie admitted he used a closed fist punch on the victim, striking his neck.
The fight then broke up, they returned to his car and left the scene.
The witness who called police saw the vehicles stop and the two men engage the other man. After the victim was punched, she said she screamed at them, causing them to get back in their vehicle and take off toward Clearfield.
The victim’s injuries required he be transported via helicopter to UPMC Altoona for treatment, according to the report.